The Playbill Community Service Award was created to acknowledge all of the ways young people at the Junior Theater Festival are giving back across the country. All groups attending JTF 2015 were encouraged to document their organization's community service projects and apply for this award. The projects could be anything from hosting a weekly afterschool program for under-served students to holding a food drive to performing at a nursing home.
Five finalists were chosen by a panel of adjudicators and are highlighted here on Playbill.com, where we now ask readers to vote on which project is their favorite. The organization receiving the most votes will win a $1,000 cash prize to support its continued charitable efforts.
Voting ends at 11:59 PM on Jan. 16.
Each year young theatre lovers from around the country gather in Atlanta to take part in the three-day event that celebrates musical theatre and the numerous Broadway Junior and Kids Collection titles available for school-age performers.
JTF 2015 will take place Jan. 16-18, and Playbill.com will report live from the event, keeping readers up to date on the exciting weekend of performances and special events. Read more about the festival and its participants, including Megan Hilty, Lilla Crawford, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, among others . Founded in 2003, the Junior Theater Festival is the largest of its kind in the world and attracts students and instructors from across the U.S. who gather to participate in workshops and lectures, as well as perform highlights from their respective productions.
The JTF Community Service Award Nominees follow:
Adventure Theatre MTC – Rockville, MD
ATMTC joined forces with D.C. Actors for Animals to assist in the production of Beltway Barks, an annual adoption event where local theatre professionals join forces with animal rescue organizations for a performance and adoption filled day.
The Biz, Academy of Musical Theatre – Avon, IN
The Biz produced Cinderella KIDS as part of their "My Time to Shine" program, featuring eight special needs performers and 15 youth mentors who met twice a week over the summer to prepare their production.
University School of Nashville – Nashville, TN
In order to help foster intergenerational relationships and use music to boost memory and mood, University students performed both for and with new friends from Park Manor, a local facility focusing on meeting the needs of individuals with Alzheimer's.
The Rose Theater – Omaha, NE
The Teen Program at The Rose offered free musical classes to youth at Omaha's Munroe-Meyer Institute, which offers afterschool and Saturday programs for young people with developmental disabilities. The students worked side by side on numbers from Disney's Aladdin.
Act3 Arts Academy – Sandy Springs, GA
ACT3 organized a musical theatre concert with the Sensory Friendly Foundation, which provides safe, comfortable, live entertainment opportunities for children with sensory sensitivities who cannot experience the thrill of a live performance in a regular venue.
Vote for your favorite below!